a puppet’s ode to lynn welch



For any big-time tennis fans, the name Lynn Welch rings a bell at first mention. She’s the ever-present WTA chair umpire who has been around the game for years, calling major matches and small ones week in and week out. Welch’s accent is decidedly American, so there is no British or French inflection to add to the drama of the score calling. But her syntax (can chair umpires have syntax?!) is decidedly slow after points (“Fif-teen. Aaahll.”) and she’s always looking good in khaki pants, sunglasses and her mom-doesn’t-need-to-be-fashionable haircut.

We loved this video posted by YouTube user pawubu who seems to have a knack for puppetry and knowledge of the good words of Lynn Welch. Click the picture to get to the video page. Enjoy!

(screen grab via youtube)

fashion focus: maria sharapova’s wimbledon dress, in color



Maria Sharapova, fifth seed at this week’s Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif., is safely through to the second round after taking out Zheng Jie 6-4, 7-5. As you may remember, Zheng beat Masha in the first week of the 2010 Indian Wells tourney.

Draw: Up next for her in that bottom half of the draw is Olga Govortsova then a quarterfinal meet-up against the winner of Date-Krumm vs. Dementieva. (Draw: Singles)

Wimbledon whites in color: Sharapova’s Wimbledon whites turned into pale shades of green (“filament”) and blue (“armory”) for this summer hardcourt swing. Buy: Nike Sharapova Lawn Women’s Tennis Tank and , $60 each, nike.com.

(botw shot via Getty Images; screengrabs via nike.com)

jersey ruffles make west coast debut



That headless body belongs to Christina McHale. The American lost in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic this afternoon to Sam Stosur 6-1, 7-5.

McHale is a Jersey girl herself, so the ruffles you see on the shoulders and the skirt shouldn’t be too surprising. Snooki approves. The WTA has been missing some Jersey grit in its bloodstream lately, don’t you think? Without the Brooklyn bluntness of Jennifer Capriati, things have been a bit too Florifornia for us. We welcome Christina and her ruffles with open, orange-tanned arms.

To note: McHale scored two big exhibition wins a few weeks ago in New York, beating Melanie Oudin and Victoria Azarenka in New City. Another shot of McHale – head included – after the cut. [Read more...]

sightings in the stands: who needs samurai when you’ve got dudies?



Last night’s eye-candy-filled doubles match between Tipsarevic/Lopez and Blake/Querrey (will I get a cavity in my cornea??) had no visible Sam-urai contingent, possibly contributing to the Americans’ 6-3, 6-3 loss in the opening round.

Meanwhile, Dudi Sela, now clad in Lacoste, took out shotmaker Xavier Malisse 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in their first round singles match. He’ll next face the fourth-seeded Lopez.

Draw: See who’s left playing singles and doubles at the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles.

(image via Getty Images)

new footwear, same social calendar



The boot that was strapped on Serena Williams‘s foot recently (see above) might have the world’s top-ranked player out of the US Open Series and in doubt for the US Open, but it certainly hasn’t slowed down the social part of her life. Serena was spotted yesterday in LA, hanging out at the Farmers Classic while taking in James Blake‘s first round match.

The social engagements don’t end at tennis for ReRe. Last weekend she lunched with Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek and the two have remained in touch via Twitter, Evan asking her about her injured foot and suggesting that they train together sometime (when Serena is better, of course).

She even added a girls’ night into her socializing repertoire, hanging out with pop star (can we say that if she hasn’t had a hit since 2004?!) Christina Milian. According to the UK Daily Mail, the two were out at “the swanky Madeo restaurant in Beverly Hills” over the weekend.

Spotted by the paps: We’re wondering about that stain on Christina’s dress… And why, oh why, is Serena sporting a single heel with her boot at the Farmers Classic?! The girl’s a trooper. (Or an idiot.)

And if socializing with those who she actually likes seems to get old, we’re told that Shino Tsurubuchi, the line judge that made the call heard around the world at last year’s US Open, was calling Blake’s match that Serena was in attendance for. A source said the lines people were “teasing Shino” in the tunnel as she exited. Maybe they went to Peet’s together afterward to catch up?

(la photo by TSF; millian photo via the daily mail)